Netflix has been in the tech news lately, and not for positive reasons. To summarize, last week, Netflix reported that it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. In its last business quarter, it reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers globally compared to the previous quarter; on top of that, it’s reporting a projected loss of up to two million customers in the next quarter. As far as I can tell, 600,000 of that loss is from the US and Canada; another 700,000 comes from losing business in Russia, after the country’s attack on Ukraine. Despite this, Netflix still has about 222 million customers globally, as the top streaming service by a mile.
Netflix blames several factors for the decline in customers: losing Russian customers; their January price hike; and password sharing. On that last one, Netflix claims up to 100 million households are accessing the service via shared passwords.
All of the above (and a subsequent plummet in its stock value) has led Netflix to announce some changes. For starters, they plan to reduce its spending on children’s animation, including letting multiple people go and canceling an adaption of Jeff Smith’s graphic novel “Bone.” Instead, Netflix is touting DreamWorks’ “Boss Baby” (of all shows) as the desired cartoon model going forward. Netflix is also considering a cheaper ad-based tier, like most of its main rivals. Finally, and receiving the most attention, Netflix plans on cracking down on password sharing; until now, Netflix mostly looked the other way about sharing passwords.
Still, despite the fact that Netflix is the world’s biggest streaming service, all of this raises some questions. Namely, what are Netflix’s current problems? And how does the future look for Netflix? I last looked at such in late 2019 (several months before the pandemic struck), but now’s definitely a time for a new look.